Anna Cullens has made history again.
The Wellington High School wrestler, the first girl to take first at regionals, became the first girl from Wellington to place at state, finishing in second place in the 109-pound weight class at the 4A girls’ state wrestling tournament in Salina.
“It was amazing and I’m glad I worked my butt off,” Cullens, a freshman, said.
Cullens lost her only two matches of the season to Alexis Allen, of Independence, a high school junior.
“She was a fierce competitor,” Cullens said, adding that “it’s a learning experience every time you lose. You learn something new. I’m gonna work harder next time.”
Wrestling Allen, Cullens found that she needed to work on wrestling with her legs. She primarily uses her arms. She will have an opportunity to improve her wrestling, going to a camp at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
She also plans to go out for cross country in the fall season.
“It does help me incredibly with endurance and if I need to lose weight, I know I can stay at my pace and run that extra mile,” she said.
Cullens said she wants to strive for more and said taking second in state “feels pretty great especially with everyone (coaches, teammates, fan) that have my back.”
Among the male wrestlers, senior Kanden Young said, "It was the hardest tournament in my life and the best feeling ever. After my loss (Friday) I put everything I had on the mat today.
"I didn't let that loss hurt my determination and I'm glad to end my career this way."
Junior Kenny Fehrman said, "I came in here after being super sick this week. I stayed home from school and had a 104-degree fever, but I still got stuff done. It was tough to come here and my seed made it even tougher. After the loss on Friday, I had to push even more. Kanden's win in the match before mine gave me the adrenaline I needed."